Written Answers. - Professional Collectors of Charity.

Tony Killeen

Ceist:

497 Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Justice the plans, if any, she has to restrict the activities of professional collectors for charity; and the evidence, if any, of increased abuse in this area. [16553/96]

There is a commitment in the Government policy agreement to reform the law relating to administration and regulation of charities along the lines of the report of the committee on fundraising activities for charitable and other purposes, the Costello report, which included recommendations in relation to professional fundraisers and consultants. Work on the preparation of this legislation is proceeding and it is hoped to introduce the legislation early next year. To assist this process the Minister of State, Deputy Joan Burton, established an advisory group on charities comprising representatives of a number of organisations working in this area. It is expected that the group's report will be available shortly and at that stage it is proposed to refer the report to the legislation and security committee for their consideration.

The Garda authorities are not aware of any increased abuse in the area of professional collectors for charity. However, any abuse which comes to the notice of the Garda is fully investigated and prosecuted where warranted.